India: Uncertainty prevailed over the availability of liquor in the national capital as the private liquor stores in Delhi were scheduled to shut shop from Monday after the expiry of their licenses.
Sources, however, claimed that the Delhi government was likely to come out with a notification by late Sunday night, allowing liquor stores currently running in the city to remain open till August end.
“This was needed as the government has decided to revert to old excise policy regime and run stores through its agencies, a process that could create shortage and chaos as the new shops will take days to open,” said a government source.
The government on Saturday announced reverting back to old excise regime and run stores itself for six months. Under the Excise Policy 2021-22, 468 retail liquor stores were running in the city whose licenses will expire after July 31.
Many liquor vends in the city, however, were closed after selling out stocks through rebates and special schemes like buy one get two free.
“There is some more liquor and beer available and people are coming to get whatever they can. Those asking for specific brands have returned back empty-handed also,” said a liquor store manager in Laxmi Nagar.
The rush was more on Saturday but with liquor stores running out of stock, customers have now started looking to neighbouring Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Faridabad for their quota, said a customer Vivek outside a closed liquor vend in Delhi’s Shekh Sarai.
A banker from Mayur Vihar Extension said he used to get his favourite brands available locally but now the stocks were run out.
“The shops in the nearby mall have run out of stock and left with almost nothing. Now, I will ask friends in Noida, Gurgaon to keep me stocked up till shops here run normally again,” he said.